Sunday, March 23, 2008

Housewarmings, steaks on the barbie, and wild animals

Got picked up at the resort in the Gold Coast by Donna and headed to one of the beaches to have a dip. The water is cooold, but very clean, the waves strong. We left soon after to head north to Brisbane, dropping off her sister in the way. She shows us their house, and... wow. Queensland houses are very open, wood floors, lots of windows. Very bright interiors, vivid colors, and old furniture. Everything feels so lived in and so cozy! I love it.

Went to see Be Kind Rewind, another one by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep). Good stuff. Mos Def and Jack Black do the movie well.

BTW, other good movies I've seen: Little Miss Sunshine, Dan in Real Life, and Juno. All great. I love Steve Carell.

Oh look, Donna's roommate Colin has Halo 3! Oh look, lots of Haruki Murakami books! Turns out Donna loves him too (woohoo! Donna is awesome!). I pick up one at random, one called South of the Border, West of the Sun and start a few sentences. I'm on the couch and ending Chapter 4 before I realize anything happens. I also love Murakami.

One quick trip to the local grocery store and some hours of Halo 3 later, it becomes housewarming party time! Tons of people come by, got to talk to a lot of them. Most of them are very chill. Not long after, I begin to smell weed. Ah yes, very chill people. I really wish I could remember more people's names, but alas, my memory the way it is, you'll just have to settle for the one person's name I can remember, which is Vish, this cool chillin Indian guy. Made the biggest joints. Smoked said gargantuan joints. Passed it on.

After sleeping for what seemed like several days, the next day was pretty much do nothing and rest, relax, and recover. Finished the Murakami book, and also the campaign of Halo 3. Got to eat some great steaks (grilled on the barbie, no less) and tried some local delicious barbecue sauce. Very light, not as thick as the ones from home, and just the right amount of sweetness. It was a good day.

Next day, head on out to the Wild Animal Park (stamped with Steve Irwin's name all over it). Saw lots of cute wallabies (kangaroo like guys), some feisty echidnas, and lots of amazingly cute koalas. Afterwards, grab a meat pie, head to the otter area to watch the feeding (Asian otters, some of the smallest in the world, go fig), see two tiny cute otters swim and dive after fresh shellfish and then head out to some falls with a name that eludes me to this day. Before stopping at the falls, we stop at a lookout point where these two guys are using remote controlled kites. They look somewhat like planes, one looks similar to the stealth bomber, another like an old propeller plane. Watching them just spin, glide, turn, roll, loop and dive ... so mesmerizing.

Off to the falls... Donna takes a moment and then dives in. I get to the water edge, feel the water at my toes and feel my drive to jump in vaporize. Uh guys, this water is cold, very cold. Not cold like ice, cold like icebergs. I don't even want to think about going in slowly. I imagined the ice cold water touching my balls. The chill from that would shatter my bones! Forget it, I'm jumping.

Oh God. OH... GOD! FUCK this is cold!!

After spending about 5 minutes in this unbelievably frigid water, I learned that all energy stored in the muscles, bones, body... basically vanishes. It takes all my concentration, all my willpower, whatever gusto and strength I have left to pull myself up to the edge. My heart races, I can feel it stressing to return some warmth to the rest of my being. Then, the wave of nausea, and the feeling of my stomach saying "hey, it might come up soon" comes. Oh man, not doing so well... The guys next to me ask if I'm OK, tell me to wrap myself in the towel and get warm. 10 minutes of staring at the ground and fighting the urge to upchuck rewards me with enough energy to stand and dress. Whew, what a crazy experience!

Heading back down the mountain, we stop over at Donna's nana and pa (grandparents) for a wee bit. It's like a scene out of a movie! They make me think of the stereotypical (white) grandparents, super friendly, made us some tea, brings out all these cookies, biscuits and cheese, and we just talk about whatever came to mind. I felt so welcomed, so cozy just chatting with them all. It was such a good calming down from the crazy waterfall episode.

Tomorrow morning... off to Adelaide to see Sarah, another person I met in Manarola.

Just a side note here, might be weird writing about it but since it happened I'll just jot some thoughts down. If a girl is comfortable enough to walk around in her sleep-/underwear around me, it's a good thing, not because I especially want to stare at her (if she happens to look good, that's a bonus, no complaints from me) but because that means she'd probably not mind me walking around in mine, ha! Hey, it's hot in Brisbane and I like being cool =)

1 comment:

Thinh said...

I'm going to stop telling you how envious I am and just tell you that Haruki Murakami's my favorite author, and I have a few of his books if you'd like to borrow them. You should read Franz Kafka, too! He's also my favorite author. Anyhow, I hope my trip is as fun as yours. I'm quite envious.